Wed, 06 Dec 2000:

From: JP <>

Subject: 9 night riders tonight


Caught 9 "night riders" tonight around 6pm riding an illegal section of

trail near the Scettrini Fire Rd. on San Pedro Mnt. I found 2 guys on

the same section of trail same time on Monday. They're beating up the

legal as well as the illegal trails. Night riding is on the increase and

with it goes the uncertain liability of dangerous sports on county as

well as city owned property. I suggest banning night riding. We have our

hands full with violations in the day time. Night time activities can't

be policed effectively not to mention their disruption to the nocturnal

wildlife in the area.



Thu, 07 Dec 2000:


Subject: Re: Mountain Bikers Are Riding at Night to Evade the Law


Actually, they originally rode at night to evade rangers, but it was so much

fun it became a new sport unto its own some years ago. There are multi-page

catalogs just for the incredibly expensive lights these guys use- up to $250

for a headlight! You can always spot these guys because they have great

headlights but no taillights while heading to their illegal rides! (This is

a secret)


A few years ago a bike store owner said (In the Marin IJ) he could tell that

bike commuting had really increased because he was selling more lights! My

unpublished letter stating that most of these lights were for illegal off-

road use was to no avail.


Night riding doesn't have to be made illegal since most parks and open space

areas are closed sunset to sunrise. Bikers actually violate several laws at

once by riding trails at night!


Last month while sneaking a twilight (5:30) run before it got too dark on

the ridge above San Anselmo/San Rafael I was totally blinded by one of these

5,000,000 watt lights by someone going way too fast(as usual) and he(she)

was headed where bikes aren't allowed. It took several seconds for my eyes

to see again so I wouldn't trip.


I know there is an unwritten code among real hikers that you just don't use

lights if you have to hike at night- I've always followed it, there is a

reason for it. Don't even leave footprints if possible.





Thu, 07 Dec 2000:

From: JP <>

Subject: Trail destruction on San Pedro Mnt, San Rafael City Lands


Dear Dave and Carlene.

I'm writing to you to call attention to serious trail erosion caused by

increasing mountain bike riding, during both the evening and daytime on

the lands shared by the City of San Rafael and the Marin County Open

Space District. The trails in question are three: the first one being an

un-named trail that originates near the Bay Hills Dr, Scettrini Fire Rd.

intersection near the entrance to the Barbierri Nike Site. (This trail

is photographed and mapped on our website. Much of it falls under your

jurisdiction. The other trails mentioned here are completely in your

jurisdiction.) See:

The second trail runs east and west not too far from this, perhaps a 1/4

mile down the Bay Hills Rd. extension. It is already marked with a trail

closure sign from the City of San Rafael. The third trail begins near

the lowest point on the Scettrini Fire Rd. and is known as the J.T.

Howell Trail. In the past year I as well as others in our community of

Santa Venetia have noted a significant and troubling rise in the amount

of mountain bike travel on these trails. All these trails are showing

signs of erosion and in the case of the trail near the Nike Site entry,

severe erosion with possible tree damage due to root exposure, soil

removal and constant and continuous bike tread wear. As mentioned, this

activity occurs on a daily basis both in the daytime as well as the

evenings. In the past month on only two separate occasions, I have noted

at least 18 "night time" bike riders traversing the above mentioned

trails. The question raised by this activity, of risk of injury and

liability, if not raised by now should be seriously pondered by both the

City of San Rafael, as well as the MCOSD. Wildlife impacts are another

issue deserving serious study. I'm sure the City of San Rafael has a

policy and a set of laws protecting the many trees that line our public

roadways. I'm sure if these trees were being damaged or destroyed by any

person, that person would be apprehended by the police and cited with

the appropriate point of law. Well, what's happening to the trails and

trees on San Rafael City property in the above mentioned areas is no

different. Has a  Parks and Rec crew recently been on any of these

trails to examine their condition?

Does the City have a policy regarding the open space it manages within

its jurisdiction?

As a concerned citizen , avid hiker and local environmentalist,  I would

recommend that these trails be closed, especially to night time riding.

The trail at the Nike Site entry has been viewed by Open Space Director

Fran Brigmann and described by her as " a mess". This trail is the most

imperiled of the three described and ought to be closed immediately.

I belong to a tenacious and well connected neighborhood association with

passionate concerns for the health and survivability of the entire San

Pedro Mountain Open Space. We believe it's time for you to take a

serious look and take some meaningful action regarding that portion of

the mountain that comes under your jurisdiction.

I would be happy to meet with any of you, to tour and discuss the areas

in question.

Please feel free to visit the web site to get more information on the

problems of illegal and increasing mountain bike travel in Marin open


Sincerely, John Parulis  Bright Path Video

(415) 298-3965


Fri, 08 Dec 2000:

From: Harriot Manley <>

Subject: Re: [Fwd: Trail destruction on San Pedro Mnt, San Rafael City Lands]

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I strongly confirm John Parulis's observations, and give him my total

support in his efforts to limit mountain biking access on inappropriate



Harriot Manley


Tue, 12 Dec 2000:

From: JP <>

Subject: more night riders


Tonight, I observed 6 "night riders" riding an illegal section of trail

near the Scettrini/J.T. Howell trail junction. They proceeded to venture

down the Howell trail. The condition of the trails out here is poor due

to the recent rain. Erosion especially on the steeper sections of trail

is worsening. Night riding must be stopped. These riders originate in

the China Camp trail area and now constantly, daily, make their way down

the battered trail parallel to the Scettrini and then down the Howell.

The increase in their numbers is alarming. The silence from both the

MCOSD and the City of San Rafael is deafening. I and my associates are

determined to see the laws regarding County and City open space upheld.

Our patience is beginning to wear thin.

John Parulis


Tue, 17 Oct 2006:

Subject: MTB nightriding video +

A new local site full of Googlevideo mtb "biker porn".  The one called "Oilcan" was shot on Fromme Mountain (my neighbourhood) and shows what nightriding is all about.  Those headlamps are very bright. I get up to a dozen of those shining in my windows several weeknights, as these nightriders exit our park. Our cops and the muni bylaw officers do not give a damn about this "intrusion". Imagine what this does to the nocturnal wildlife in the area! All the other videos are from various Greater Vancouver area spots, including Whistler. But the nightriding thing is the really ignorant one. The reason so many videos come out of BC (especially the Greater Vancouver area) is because the authorities do not have the will to stop it. --MC--